Size Complaint May Point to Weightier Issues
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Dear Christine,

My girlfriend and I have lived together for three years. It was rocky for a while, but things have settled down recently.

The problem now, however, is that she has gained 20 pounds, if not more, and Iím no longer attracted to her. She wants sex all the time. The fact I am 17 years older is probably a small factor in our difference in sex drives, but her weight is the main problem. My favourite part of a womanís body is the tummy (flat and smooth, like she had when we met). Her belly is so chubby now, I try not to look when she gets undressed.

Before you say anything about me being shallow, I have lost 20 pounds while trying to keep myself attractive.

Iím looking at sexy thinner woman a lot more these days. I donít want to hurt her feelings, but I donít know what to do. -- JIM Ė LONDON, ONTARIO

Dear Jim,

If youíd said you were a little less attracted, Iíd say this was common because itís quite normal to get ďcomfortableĒ in a relationship. We spend more time on the couch than we do going out and being active. I would recommend that you suggest activities to boost your metabolisms and help you stay fit and energetic. I would ask how you lost 20 pounds. Then Iíd say you could ask her to ďhelp youĒ by going on the same diet or joining a gym with you.

However, since you say youíre ďreally not attracted to herĒ anymore, I think this is about more than her weight.

You admit to having a history of problems. Are you sure youíre not just looking for problems? If thereís always something wrong, maybe you just arenít right for each other. Maybe sheís gained weight as a result of depression because your relationship is always so volatile.

As for your assumption that I would think youíre shallow, perhaps thatís a projection of your guilt. I just hope she isnít so shallow that sheís more attracted to younger menÖthe way youíre more attracted to thinner women.

If the weight is important enough to overshadow all attraction to her, perhaps sheíd be better off if you bought her a box a chocolates as a parting giftóthen you can get out of her life and stop scrutinizing her so much.

Dear Christine,

Iím a gay man and my boyfriend verbally and occasionally physically abuses me. Itís embarrassing. How can I admit that Iím being hit? Itís not like Iím a wimp or anything. Iím taller and weigh more than him, but Iím not the violent type.

I donít know how I ended up in this position or how to get out. Help! -- BATTERED IN BRAMPTON

Dear Battered,

Please stop feeling embarrassed or guilty about this. Whether it takes place in a same-sex or heterosexual relationship, abuse is abuse, and itís not your fault.

The Gay Partner Abuse Program offers a free, confidential support group for gay and bisexual men in your situation. I hope youíll call (416) 876-1803 to speak with a counsellor or leave a message. The programís website is at

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? Email Christine at:

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